Are your customers telling you the whole truth?
Response rate: Why it matters (and how to increase it)October 23rd, 2019 by
Your survey response rate is one of the most important factors to consider when administering a customer satisfaction survey. Imagine the difference in weight of opinions backed by thousands of responses vs. just a few.
When you use your survey responses within your marketing initiatives, the number of respondents becomes even more important. If the results quoted do not reflect the general sentiment of your customers, prepare for potential consequences. For example, if a prior customer doesn’t believe your published reviews accurately represent the quality of your work, he or she may publish a contradictory review.
Fortunately, there are ways to ensure you capture honest and authentic customer feedback at a high response rate.
Develop a Strategy
Companies and consumers live together in the age of data. Businesses all around the world rely on collecting data from their customers and the general public to improve their services or come up with new products. However, Forbes cautions companies against over-surveying. Asking clients for feedback at every point of contact can become annoying. Eventually, they may begin to ignore your surveys altogether. Instead, develop a strategy for the best triggers for a survey. Potential times include:
- At a certain time of the year
- At the completion of a project
- Following a specific overall score
- After contacting your business to resolve a major problem
Provide a Time Estimate
Few people look forward to completing surveys. They receive so many on a weekly basis, and each one takes valuable time. Telling people how long or short the surveys are can make a big difference. Otherwise, someone who opens a survey thinking it is short may leave it incomplete when it stretches on for longer than anticipated. Likewise, a survey with no time estimate may discourage a person from opening it because they believe it may take more time than it actually does. Provide an honest estimate of the completion time so that people can plan accordingly.
Make Answering Easy
Time is not the only factor affecting the ease of responding to a survey. The medium also makes a difference. If your customers primarily access your mobile website, for instance, a graphics-heavy survey may take a long time to load. Similarly, requiring people to submit a lot of information before beginning may turn them off. They may close out the survey before they even start to answer the questions. Finally, limiting the rating options to three to five answers is helpful.
Give a Heads Up
Letting people know that a survey is on the way prepares them for the inevitable. You may do this at the start of the project, halfway through or when the project is almost done. To keep things uniform and ensure you never forget, it is perhaps best to rely on emails. However, informing your customers in person has its benefits as well. You can use the opportunity to address any concerns or complaints they may have that would result in a less than perfect score.
Use a Third Party
Customers don’t always feel comfortable answering honestly when the company they’re being surveyed about is the one doing the surveying. Using a neutral third-party service (like GuildQuality) makes it easier for your customers to share their thoughts openly, even when they know their answers will be seen by you. Plus, it saves you time and makes lets you do the work you care most about.
Ask Useful Questions
In order to generate useful and actionable customer feedback, you need to ask the right questions. Before designing your survey, take a moment to consider what info you actually need, or what you’re actually going to use and how you’re going to use it. Do you only want to know how satisfied – or unsatisfied – your customers are? Are you trying to uncover areas for improvement? Do you want to know how a particular team member is performing?
Rely on Proper Timing
Timing is everything when it comes to surveys. Forbes notes that your customers are more likely to engage with the survey if you send it soon after their experience with your company, ends. Forbes also recommends keeping a short window for accepting responses. For example, you could send the survey to your customers immediately after the cleanup of the worksite is completed and leave the link active for a week or so. Note that some people may refrain from responding right away until they take the time to really inspect the property and try out all the new additions or changes.
Use One Call-to-Action
Whenever a company sends out an email, it may seem like a great opportunity to advertise. This can make it tempting to stuff an email with extras. Resist this. Instead, focus only on the survey and make the request to answer the questions your single call to action. This not only simplifies the email but also prevents customers from distraction by other offers. If they get sidetracked, they may never circle back to the email to respond to that survey.
Are you ready to boost your survey response rate? Get started by choosing our easy-to-use survey builder at GuildQuality. When you work with us, we also reach out to your customers through various channels to increase your response rate.